Posted by Marie Presti on 5/2/2021

 Photo by Benjamin Balazs via Pixabay 

Buying land can be a tricky matter for many people, especially when they're first getting started. No matter how valuable a property may seem at the time, it may not take very long to realize there were more strings attached than you thought. But while there are a few red flags to keep in mind, you don't have to let your nerves get the better of you. Before signing a contract, here are a few facts to keep in mind. 

Zoning Laws 

Chances are, you've likely already confirmed that the land has been zoned for building, but what you may not have considered is the extent of the zoning laws. Building in certain neighborhoods may be difficult to do, depending on the size and configuration of the property. You also may want to consider how future laws will affect your building. For example, if the neighborhood is likely to pass new laws to protect the environment, you need to keep in mind the expense and effort of compliance. Zoning hiccups may not prevent you from buying the property, it can just help you prepare for what's ahead. 

The State of the Land 

If you're buying property, you need to do more than just look at the site. You need to know if the soil has been contaminated while the land sat vacant, how fast the tree roots are growing, and whether the ground can support certain infrastructure. If the roots are moving close to the property site, you'll need to factor in the cost of removal. Buyers should also consider how the sunlight (or lack thereof) will affect the eventual inhabitants. If there are sun-blocking hills near the area, it could significantly reduce the demand of the property. 

The Neighborhood 

If you're looking for a bargain, it's likely going to come in the form of a fairly undesirable neighborhood. Building in an area like this may pay off in spades, or it may end up being a major mistake. Some people will jump on neighborhoods that are "up-and-coming" only to find that the wind changes direction soon after buying. Or they find that it takes too long for the neighborhood to become valuable. You need to think about what you'll do if you can't sell for the price you want (e.g., rent, etc.). Not every developer can wait a decade or more before the market shifts. 

Buying land can be a great way to both meet the housing demand in an area while generating profit for you. The key is to consider the most common scenarios (and problems) that may occur before moving forward. 

Posted by Marie Presti on 4/25/2021

 Photo by Ulrike Mai via Pixabay

Moving from one state to another is stressful enough for adults and children. Often pets are doubly confused. Your home may be the only world they've known. They don't understand why you're leaving or if you're coming back. Boxes are piling up and moving people, family and friends are everywhere. This may increase your pet's anxiety and find them acting out or running away more than usual.

We've compiled five of the best expert tips for moving cross-country with your pet.

1. Prepare yourself for the move

We love this one from the New York Times. Often pets pick up on your own frazzled, sad or angry emotions. If you're frantically sorting boxes or searching for items, your pet will feel equally frustrated.

If this move is causing you stress, take time to slow down and do something you love. Remember, this is temporary. Whether it's an upgrade or a downsize, you're going to love your new home.

2. Put them in a quiet room

All the boxes, shifting furniture and people are disorienting. On top of that, the front door may be propped open for extended periods. Put your pet in a room as far from the commotion as possible. If they're prone to gnawing or scratching, put them in a crate and play some white noise, pleasant music or a TV program they'll associate with you to ease the stress.

3. Acclimate your pet to their carrier

If your pet is afraid of the carrier they'll travel in, leave it out in the room for a few weeks before your move. They can walk in and out of it on their own and know that it's not a trap. Put some treats and a blanket they love in there. Help them make positive associations with that safe traveling crate.

4. Assess the new surroundings 

If you're moving cross country, you may encounter unfamiliar hazards like:

  • Poisonous plants
  • Feral animals
  • Busy streets close to your home
  • Rat traps or bug-control pellets

You know your pet best and what may be a risk to them. Inspecting for hazards will help you prepare for their safe arrival.

5. Let them adjust slowly

Don't give your pets a whole new world to explore all at once. Instead, start them in one room like a laundry room or bathroom with food, water, bed and litter box (if applicable). Spend a few hours with them there. Then introduce them to the rest of their new home.

For more tips on moving, buying and selling your home, follow our blog.

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Posted by Marie Presti on 4/18/2021

Image by bernswaelz from Pixabay

When you hear “easy house plants” you might not immediately think to include flowers. You might have even heard tragic and frustrating tales about orchids or other extremely particular flowering plants that require meticulous maintenance and a green thumb. However, there are a wide variety of flowering plants you can successfully grow indoors with basic care.

Here are three beginner-friendly flowering house plants to try out:

African Violet

African violets are compact, vibrant low-growing plants that can bloom several times a year and are popular for their intense colors. Bright purple, blue and pink are most common, but there are also red and white varieties and hybrid hues. They have round, fuzzy and rich green leaves and are comfortable to grow in small pots less than 8-inches.

While African violets are extremely popular house plants, they also have a reputation for being difficult to care for. In reality, it’s easy for this brightly colored plant to thrive indoors as long as you follow a few simple rules. The most important factor in caring for African violets is watering them the correct way. The leaves are highly susceptible to rot if they come into contact with water. To avoid this, plant them in a pot with a water reservoir that will allow you to water from the bottom.

African violets thrive in bright but indirect light and do particularly well under fluorescent lights when indoors. Use a well-drained potting mix in combination with your careful watering and you’ll be able to enjoy this beautiful plant with relatively low maintenance.


Bromeliads are another flowering plant with a reputation for being difficult because of their unusual appearance. Looks can be deceiving: this exotic-looking tropical plant is actually extremely easy to care for indoors. Bromeliads come in countless different species, but the ones that you’ll encounter as house plants have tall, spikey flowers that grow on top of a stalk of green. They come in a variety of colors and sometimes even have spots or stripes on the leaves and blooms.

One thing that makes flowering bromeliads a great choice of indoor plant is that they can easily tolerate a wide range of temperatures. They also like bright indirect sunlight, but if you don’t have a perfect window, they can thrive under fluorescent lights. The key to a healthy bromeliad is humidity, but that doesn’t mean you have to water it frequently. In fact, bromeliads can do well with very infrequent watering as long as the soil can drain properly.

Humidity is extremely important, so if you use a dehumidifier in your home, try to keep your bromeliad in another room. Mist your bromeliad frequently to help the plant stay moist — the cup-shaped leaves help the plant hold on to excess moisture, allowing it to go longer in-between waterings.


Begonias are popular bedding plants for outdoor gardens, but can also make excellent indoor plants. Both the leaves and the blooms of this plant come in many varieties of color and formations — in fact, some begonias are popular specifically for their attractive leaf patterns. Along with the myriad aesthetic differences, there are also some key differences in requirements when it comes to water, soil and temperature. Look for fibrous or rhizomatous begonias as the best choice for growing indoors.

Begonias need indirect light and plenty of humidity. However, they are extremely prone to root rot if you over-water them. The best way to strike a balance is to set your begonia on a shallow tray or container with gravel or pebbles and water. The gradual evaporation of the water from the gravel mixture will help keep the plant at a comfortable humidity level without risk of drowning it. This is especially important if you live in a parched climate or if you use a dehumidifier in your home.

Like African violets and bromeliads, begonias can provide your indoor spaces with beautiful blooms most of the year. Even when not in bloom, their attractive leaves still make for great aesthetic appeal. As long as you are careful not to over-water, you can fill your home with color with relatively low maintenance.

Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Marie Presti on 4/16/2021

This Condo in Newton, MA recently sold for $449,900. This Mid-Rise style home was sold by Marie Presti - The Presti Group, Inc..

505 Centre St, Newton, MA 02458


Sale Price

This is a generous 2-bedroom, 1 bath condo in the heart of Newton Corner. It features hardwood floors throughout and a large open concept living space that is connected to the recently updated kitchen and has new stainless steel appliances. The living room features a large picture window that brings a lot of natural light into the unit. The bedrooms are both well sized and feature big closets with built-in shelving. The unit comes with a large off-street parking space and plenty of extra storage in the basement (a cubby and a closet area). This location is a commuters dream, be on the Mass Pike in less than a minute and go directly into Boston or out West. A block away to many amenities including Boston College Law School, Starbucks, Buff’s Pub, the Express Bus(that goes directly into Boston), Edmands Park, and much more. This home will not last!

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Tags: Real estate   Condo   Newton   02458  
Categories: Sold Homes  

Posted by Marie Presti on 4/11/2021

The decision to buy a house may be one of the biggest choices that you make in your lifetime. As such, a potential home purchase should be fully evaluated to ensure you can achieve the best-possible results during the homebuying journey.

Furthermore, it may be beneficial to discuss your homebuying plans with family members, friends and other loved ones. There are many reasons why you may want to share your homebuying plans with loved ones, and these reasons include:

1. You can gain homebuying insights that you might struggle to obtain elsewhere.

Loved ones frequently are happy to share their homebuying insights with you. Thus, if you keep loved ones up to date about your homebuying plans, you may be able to gain comprehensive real estate insights that you won't find anywhere else.

Let's not forget about the past homebuying experiences of loved ones, either. If a loved one had a positive or negative homebuying experience, you may be able to learn lessons from this event that could help you navigate the homebuying journey.

2. You can look at the big picture.

Oftentimes, the temptation to rush through the homebuying process can be overwhelming, particularly for a first-time homebuyer. If you consult with loved ones, however, you can slow down and look at the big picture as you prepare to pursue your dream residence.

Loved ones are unafraid to be honest, especially when it comes to a life-changing decision like buying a house. Therefore, if you reach out to loved ones before you enter the housing market, you can assess your short- and long-term plans and map out your homebuying journey accordingly.

3. You can get the help you need to succeed.

No one should be forced to pursue a house on their own. Lucky for you, loved ones are available who can help you discover your ideal residence in no time at all.

Sharing your homebuying plans with loved ones may enable you to get plenty of support throughout the homebuying journey. Plus, if you ever have concerns or questions as you pursue your dream house, loved ones are ready to assist you in any way possible.

As you prepare to embark on a home search, you may want to consult with a real estate agent too. In fact, a real estate agent will ensure you can enjoy a seamless homebuying experience, regardless of where you want to live.

Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you informed about new residences as they become available and help you submit offers on houses. This housing market professional also will negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf, guaranteeing that you can get the best price on any home, at any time.

Ready to kick off a successful home search? Connect with loved ones – and a real estate agent – and you can get the assistance that you need to find your dream house.

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